I see, that this topic is causing some serious discussions about central Europe's history. That's very good, because to many, many people Poland and the other countries, that join the EU next year is still Terra Incognita.
That you Karl, for you post. It's fresh and new, since almost everyone has his own piont of view here. But I need to comment some things here.
Karl da Kraut wrote:
Viriato spoke of a mysterious “Czech King”, and nobody contradicted. What Czech King? Sources only speak of a King of Bohemia (or Boemia)!
It was Czech kingdom. For Czechs themselves and also for example to Poles. When John of Luxemburg made his last charge he said in the Czech language:Tot, Boh da, ne bude, by KRAL CZESKY z boje utiekal
Don't let, my God, for the CZECH KING to run away from battle.
Bohemia (german Boemen, or something like that) is a latin name for Czechia, one of two (with Moravia) regions of Czech kingdom and today the Czech republik. Latin, but original Czech name for THEIR land is Czesko
(i write the 'cz', like Poles do, because, I cannot write Czech dialectical signs on my computer. "Czech" is pron. "Cheh"). The name Bohemia comes from ancient Germanic tribe, but it is inaccurate, and false. it was invented in medieval times not by Czechs, but foreign writers. The same tendention was visible in case of Poland for some time. Some german chronicles call Poland VANDALIA, which is stupid.
Ok, to work!
The name of that landstrip has it’s roots in the Germanic tribe Silingi (Silingen), which left the region during the Great Migration of Peoples. Several Slavic tribes moved into Silesia and settled there.
it's nothing but one of three theories about origins of Slask's name. And it is even not the most possible of them, however, very popular among German historians. Popular despite the fact it was created during the Nazi era.
The other two theories speek about Slavic origin of that world. First, the Mountain Sleza (Gora Sleza), place of Slavic pagan cult. The second one is about old Slavonic (extinct now in Polish Language) word "S'leuzhat' ", which mean "be wet, to steam, to vaporize". The land of Slask was covered in much percent with swamps, old-river-beds, and soil lands.
In the early 10th century, those tribes in Silesia came under the overlordship of the Bohemian princes (not kings yet) who christianized the land and founded Vratislavia (Breslau/Wrclaw?). In ca. 990 the Polish prince Miezko I. conquered most of Silesia, which was now disputed between Poland and Bohemia.
I more or less agree with that. However it is not sure when Poland uder Mieszko conquered Slask. It is sure only, that he married Dubravka, Czech princess around 960. Sure is also the fact, that he married her to end the war with Czech princedom (Poland was also only princedom at the moment. First Polish king, Boleslav the Brave, or Great - son of Mieszko and Dubrovka- crowned himself in 1025 AD).
Some historians say, that Mieszko married Dubrovka before, some, that after the conquest of Silesia. It doest't change the fact, that the short time of Mieszko and Dubrovka's marriage (soon Dubrovka died) was the short time of armed peace beetween Poland and Czechia.
And, keep in mind, that when Mieszko died in 990s, Slask was in Polish hands, and Othon III, in his venture to Poland in 1000AD didn't undermine it.
After a century of repeatedly changing control, most of Silesia was ceded to Poland in a peace treaty in 1137
Slask was shortly held by the Czechs after death of Mieszko II of Poland, when whole Polish state simply collapsed. It was not the only land, that Poland lost then. West Pomorze gained its independence, as well as Mazovia, under the rullership of local leader Mstislav. Poland also lost Lausitz to Germany and so called "Grody Czerwienskie" - eastern borders to Russia. It was also time of Pagan mutiny. So you all see, that it was a time of total desitegration of Polish state.
The Mieszko's son, Casimir the Restorer, after he had returned to Poland, recovered much of those loses, including Slask and Mazovia.
The German settlement began the same time with the establishment of monasteries. With the hereditary division of Poland after Prince Boleslav’s III. (oo Agnes von Babenberg) Death in 1138, Silesia began to develop independency from Poland. According to the Polish constitution, Silesia became a parial princedom under Boleslav’s oldest son Wladyslav II. who thereby founded the Silesian branch of the Piast dynasty. Under his two sons, Silesia was divided into two duchies: Lower and Central Silesia as ducatus Silesia, and Ratibor, Teschen, and Oppeln as ducatus Opoliensis.
Yes, true. But foreign settlers then were not so strong in number and even they weren't predominary Germans. The first waves of settlers were almost completely assimilated by the Slavic majority. When I said "first waves" I mean those before the devastating Mongol Invasion and the tragical battle of Legnica in 1241. Even the German historians from the Nazi era claimed that the invasion was the turning point, that started more numerous settlements. End even then, Poles were the majority for VERY long time.
When the Polish constitution became extinct in 1202, both duchies remained independent realms between the Empire and Poland. They conducted autonomous policies and opened increasingly to German immigration, which resulted in a broad improvement of infrastructure with wood-, and wasteland clearings, foundation of new cities (more than 100) and villages (more than 1,200), most of them being granted the German right (Ius Teutonicum).
You forget the fact, that most of those cities and villages were RE-founded in new, more suitable to dwellers law. Even Krakov, Poznan, Warsaw and other major Polish cities were refounded in this law.
Those cities weren't new. The world "foundation" is not accure, but it was the official name for giving them a new municipial law. The first town "founded" on new "Prawo Niemieckie (Ius Teutonicum in Polish)" in Poland and Slask was Zlotoriya, town, which surely existed long before the German immigration.
Most of the German settlers hailed from the bordering regions of Thuringia, Saxony, and Meißen. The population growth is estimated to have reached 500%. Only the infertile region east of the Oder River and the wooded eastern part of Upper Silesia remained (almost completely) untouched by the German settlement.
I wouldn't be so sure for those numbers. I believe, that the number of the settlers was much lower. If they would be so numerous, so why in 15th century the Wroclaw's citizens, were dominary speaking Polish language?
Or why in 17th cemtury, during the XXX years war, Polish mercenaries refused to robb the villagers of lands around Legnica, because thay were (suprisingly to soldiers) speaking Polish? Have you read about Nanker in two of my previous posts? Or about Wodni Polacy guilt?
And don't claim, that before Germans there were only forests and wooden hutts. It's not true, and not polite.
The most energetic initiator of the settlement was the Silesian duke Henry I. (1201-1238; oo St. Hedwig von Andechs-Meranien), who tried to expand his rule into Oppeln and Polish territories. When his son Henry II.(oo Anna of Bohemia) fell at Liegnitz in 1241, the development took the opposite direction, however. In the duchies of Silesia (since 1241) and Oppeln (since 1281) dynastical hereditary divisions led to a fragmentation in more than a dozen small and rivalizing Piast duchies.
Yes. But last words of Henryk Pobozny (Henry the Pious) before his fell in the battle of Legnice were: GORZE NAM SIE STALO
, which mean "Bad things happened to us". It is also known, that during the battle, the Mongol soldiers starded to skream "Biegajcie, biegajcie", which mean "Run away!" in Old Polish, causing much confused knights to retreat. So, most of the knights and peasants that were fighting in the Battle of Legnica were Polish-speaking.
Both Bohemia and Poland tried to exploit the vacuum of power. The increasing pressure from two sidescompelled the Piasts of Silesia and Oppeln to subordinate to the Bohemian crown as vassals (1327-1342). Charles IV. inherited the two remaining duchies by marrying Anna of Schweidnitz-Jauer in 1353.
Already in in 1335 Kasimir III. of Poland had renounced all claims to the Silesian duchies (confirmed in 1339). In 1348 Charles IV. (as the German king) solemny proclaimed Silesia part of the Bohemian crown, and repeated that act in 1355 (this time as Roman emperor). Since Bohemia was part of the Empire, Silesia became part of the Empire when becoming part of Bohemia.
This is sad fact, that show, ow Poland was week in time of its desintegration of many Piast princedoms (about 30 for some time). It is also known, that Casimir the Great was a known layer, that didn't ever care with treaties. In last years of his life, Casimir planned a war against Czech Kingdom. Unfortunately, he died in accident in winter, shortly before the attack. He died without heir, and Poland faced dynastial crisis.
After Piasts, the Polish throne went on to Franco-Hungarian dynasty of Anjou, and in 138s in passed of Jaggielons, lithuanian dynasty. The new Polish kings were more interested in affaires in South (for example crusaid in 1444 or wars with Turkey) and in North and South (Teutons and Russia). Despite the opinion of most of Polish community, which is wieved for example in Dlugosz's Chronicle.